Clarity Report

Clarity today (6/29 7:45AM) - still only a few inches of visibility

The Yellowstone is hanging steady around 12,000 CFS.  We keep waiting for it to drop to around 10,000 CFS but it has been a very slow drop.  With recent rain the past couple nights we might even see the Stone come up a bit again. The folks who have tried floating it have had limited success, with only 1 fish per boat or even some goose eggs (0). With so many other rivers fishing well in our area we’re not too worried about finding good places to fish.

Guide John Bond & Billy D. with a salmonfly dry eater! Photo: Mark Heil

Mark Heil and Billy D, crushing it all day on dries! Photo: John Bond

Black streamer anyone???

Karate Don choppin' em down! Photo: Brian Sienkowski

Anthony Power with a black and orange chubby eater! Photo: Kyle Power

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Clarity Report – getting there…

Clarity today (6/27 7:50AM) - only a few inches of vis...

Flows in town today are around 12,000 CFS and dropping.  Clarity is still looking like “buddy” water, but if you are willing to roll the dice there’s a shot.  Yesterday the anglers who fished the Yellowstone got skunked but you never know… There have been a few rumors of salmonflies starting in the valley.  At least for today we send clients to better waters as Southwest Montana has been on fire.

Steve Flood - "Boo" ya! Photo: Hank Bechard

Lisa Bernhoft with a nice Nelson's brown! Photo: John Bond

Josh Jones back in action! Photo: Chris Coyne

Chris Coyne with a stud rainbow from the Beaverhead. Photo: Jake Anderson

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Fishing Report

Clarity today at Carter's Bridge, (6/25 at 2:10PM) - not much visibility

Although CFS has been dropping daily, the clarity on the Yellowstone has been rough, with only a few inches of visibility.  At least for the next couple days the Madison, Missouri, and the Bighorn have been better options, as well the the Spring Creeks, smaller streams, and private lakes.   If you don’t mind pounding the banks there is still a chance on the Stone, but even expert oarsman and anglers gave gotten the goose egg.  Be sure you have a confident rower as people have had accidents out here in flows above 10,000 CFS and nothing would be worse than to kick off your season with a sunken drift boat.

David Lamer with a nice Yellowstone brown from yesterday. Photo: John Bond

Big Bugs, swarming on the Madison...

The salmonflies have been thick on the upper Madison, but so have the people.  Increased fishing pressure makes this river difficult at times, but if you are willing to stick with it, this may be the best place in montana to catch a big brown on a dry fly.  The fish are pretty spotty, which is to say you might hammer them for 100 yards and not get another strike for a mile.  The trick is just to commit to the dry and be ready for action, no sleeping at the wheel.  The other option is to fish nymphs in the middle of the river, which is also working pretty well.

Salmonfly nymphs below Palisades, ready to pop (6/24)

There have good days and slow days on the upper Madison lately, all part of the equation when chasing the salmonfly hatch.  While the end of the day score card might not reflect as many catches as one might hope, this is some of the most fun fishing you can have in Southwest Montana.

Nelson's Spring Creek (6/25)

The Spring Creeks are another fantastic option right now while the Yellowstone is still dirty.  The PMD’s have been coming off, starting around 10:00/11:00 and going until about 2:00 in the afternoon.  Most of the duns coming off at Nelson’s today were about a size 18, although we took fish on smaller PMDs as well.  Sparkle duns, Compara duns, and No Hackles were our best dry flies.  A Polly Rosborough style PMD nymph was our best subsurface fly, followed by a crackback PMD nymph and the miracle nymph.  6 or 7X tippet was mandator – a 3 or 4 weight rod would help also – not only to protect your tippet, but also to get a slightly better drift.

Ben Haugo with a solid Bighorn brown!

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Clarity Report

Clarity today (6/20 7:45AM) kind of silty from the rain still...

The Stone is still too high and muddy to but dropping every day.  For now we are still taking people to the Madison as the fishing has been quite good.  Give us a call for the latest updates or to book a trip.  406-222-7130.

Clarity in town today (6/20 7:45 AM)

Aaron Armstrong with a nice Madison brown. Photo: Marcus McGuire

Nick "The Stick" Fountain, locked again on the Big Hole... Photo: TB

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Not yet… but dropping

West Chanel of 9th St. Island in town today (6/16 7:40AM) Clarity 3-4"

The Yellowstone isn’t quite ready yet.  We are not recommending over the Madison and Missouri as they are fishing better (with salmonflies and PMD’s respectively).  We do think the Yellowstone will clear before July 1st now however, when exactly is it worth floating will be hard to say and up the the individual rowing.  We do caution anyone who is floating early to watch out for nasty hydraulics, sweepers, or random floating logs.  Experts only and even then floating the stone with flows over 10,000 CFS can be dangerous.  One final spike from tonights rain and then the Stone looks like it will be on the drop… give us a call to book a trip as soon as the Yellowstone turns a little more green she sill be fishing well and you won’t want to miss out on the early season easy pickings.  1-406-222-7130.

East channel, 9th Street Island today (6/16 7:30AM) 4-5 inches of vis

Clarity at 9th St. Island (6/16 7:30AM) - tempting but Madison still looking much better

One final bump and then on the drop...

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Local and Private Lakes

Dan Smith aka the Bass Jedi getting things done! Photo: Marcus McGuire

Now is one of the best times to fish local and private rod-fee lakes.   It’s hard to be away from the salmonfly and PMD action on South Western Montana’s rivers and spring creeks, but the lakes are fishing as good as they will all year, primarily because there hasn’t been much summer crowd fishing pressure on them yet.  If you have at least a couple days booked on the Madison, Missouri, or Spring Creeks this week, consider adding a private lake day to your schedule as well.  1-406-222-7130.

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Fishing starting to heat up in SW Montana!

Josh Edwards and Art Cake with a fatty brown... Photo: Big Jeff

The Yellowstone has been dropping the last few days but it will still be another couple weeks before it is worth a try.   The Lower Madison, Big Hole, Missouri, Spring Creeks, and private lakes have all been fishing well lately.  Give us a call if you’d like to book a trip.  We should be able to find you good dry fly opportunities somewhere in South West Montana wether you want to fish Salmonflies, PMD’s, or Callibaetis.  406-222-7130.

Alaina Donovan with a beautiful brown, just under 2 feet! Photo: John Michunovich

Dana Skorupa with a nice Lower Madison brown... Photo: Big Wave Dave

Morgan Barber with a nice Big Hole brown. Photo: Todd Barber

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Runoff Predictions

Mayor's Landing boat ramp (6/6) at 26,300 CFS...

No doubt about it, the river is ripping right now.  With the river flowing around flood stage and warmer weather the next few days, the mountains should be shedding a lot of snow this week.  Anxious salmonfly anglers have been wondering when we’ll be fishing and floating the Yellowstone.  George’s guess July 1.  As long as this weather trend continues and things don’t cool down too much that should be about right.  Salmonflies may start a little earlier than that, we’ll keep you posted.  For now we are taking people to private lakes, the spring creeks, the lower Madison, the Missouri, the Bighorn, and Yellowstone National Park.  The Bighole should come into play soon as well, which always offer some fantastic salmonfly opportunities.  Give us a call if you’d like to get out and fish!  406-222-7130.

Carter's Bridge (6/5) Photo: Francis Clougherty

Flowing at or near flood stage...

CFS flow predictions are high for the next few days, but then the drop begins...

Looks like Thursday will be the hottest day of the week.

A look at the Boulder River at the Natural Bridge (6/2). Photo: Francis Clougherty

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YNP Park Trips

JG (Josh Green) with 28 inches of Yellowstone gold... Photo: Erick Schnaderbeck

Many of the rivers in the North West corner of the Park are still raging and too muddy to fish.  Still, there are a few choice spots to be had if you are willing to hike a little bit and get away from the roads.   Give us a call if you’d like to book a trip to the park, the guides are happy to show you some of the best early season spots!  406-222-7130.

Chase Chapman with an average Yellowstone Cutthroat caught a few days ago...

The Canyon of the Lamar (6/4)... Photo: George Anderson

The Larmar River above the Canyon (6/4). Photo: George Anderson

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Streamer Time in SW Montana

John Bond putting the beef cake to work... photo: John Michunovich

Now that CFS has sky rocketed on the Yellowstone we are guiding other places.  Now we are off to the Madison, Missouri, Bighorn, spring creeks, as well as local and private lakes.  Fishing in Yellowstone National Park starts this Saturday, 5/27.  Stop in for your season license or give us a call if you’d like to book a trip!  406-222-7130.

John Bond and Dillon Ness with a nice butter ball on the Voodoo Doll... Photo: John Michunovich

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